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Affidavit: Man tried to preserve dead mother’s body as he collected social security checks

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:
Jeffrey Apprill (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

The man arrested in connection with his mother’s death possibly starved her and then tried to preserve her body with ice while collecting her social security checks, according to an affidavit in the case released Thursday.

Jeffrey Apprill, 55, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of tampering with a deceased body, criminal exploitation of an at-risk person, at-risk negligence resulting in serious bodily injury, caretaker neglect against an at-risk person and concealing a death.

He is being held at the Boulder County Jail on $10,000 and is awaiting a formal filing of charges on Friday.

According to an arrest affidavit, Apprill was hospitalized on Aug. 27, 2020, and then put on a mental health hold because of delusions and statements he was making.

The next day, an associate of Apprill’s stopped by the hospital and expressed concern to staff because he knew Apprill was the sole caretaker for his mother, Karen, and the associate said he had not heard from her for some time.

Deputies checked on Karen Apprill’s address on Bosque Court north of Boulder and did not get an answer. They checked back the next day and decided to enter the home with a key because of their concern for her welfare.

According to the affidavit, deputies said the home was extremely cluttered, with only a narrow space to walk through. The deputies also noted none of the doors had doorknobs, only deadbolts.

In the bedroom, they found a decomposing body under a blanket on the bed, covered in numerous empty 20-pound ice bags. An ice chest was also found in the room.

Both a forensic pathologist and a forensic anthropologist investigated the remains and found rib fractures that occurred before the woman had died, in addition to several bed sores that were so bad they had reached the bone.

Because of the advanced decomposition of the body, the coroner’s office was unable to make a determination as to the cause or manner of death.

In a search of the home, investigators found pieces of paper in which Karen Apprill wrote that her son was starving her. There were also medical records that showed doctors advised Karen Apprill was suffering from malnutrition and should be seen by a doctor.

A financial investigation showed she was receiving more than $2,000 a month from pension, social security and other retirement accounts, and that Jeffrey Apprill had access to those funds.

When he spoke with police, Jeffrey Apprill admitted that he put the bags of ice on his mother’s body and that he used the money she was receiving after she died.

According to the affidavit, Jeffrey Apprill said his mother died in a fall in the shower in March 2020.

The autopsy led investigators to believe Karen Apprill had been dead for seven to ten months before her body was found. The last time anyone aside from Jeffrey Apprill had reported seeing her alive was May 2019, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, police had been called to the address previously for welfare checks on Karen Apprill related to allegations of elder abuse.

Jeffrey Apprill was charged in 2017 with neglect of an at-risk victim, criminal mischief and obstruction of telephone services after Karen Apprill said her son got mad at her and then took the phone from her when she tried to call police.

Jeffrey Apprill pleaded guilty in that case to the obstruction charge and was given a deferred sentence.

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